Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his first visit to Germany since 2020, arriving in Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The visit, expected to last several hours, aimed to address the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza.
During a joint press conference, Chancellor Scholz emphasized the importance of Israel’s right to self-defense, stating that it should not be questioned. Meanwhile, Erdogan continued to criticize Israel’s offensive in Gaza, condemning the targeting of hospitals and the loss of innocent lives.
Scholz acknowledged the differences in views between himself and the Turkish president, emphasizing the need for direct dialogue in difficult moments. The German chancellor affirmed Germany’s support for Israel’s right to exist and denounced antisemitism in all forms.
Erdogan suggested that Germany joining Turkey in calling for a cease-fire could contribute to achieving peace in Gaza.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has been a significant point of contention between Germany and Turkey. Erdogan has strongly criticized Israel’s actions and accused them of committing war crimes. Israel, on the other hand, has stated that its offensive in Gaza is a response to terror attacks.
The Turkish president’s endorsement of Hamas militants as “liberators” has further strained relations between the two countries. While Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by multiple countries, including Germany, Turkey views them differently.
Ahead of the meeting with Chancellor Scholz, Erdogan met with German President Frank Walter-Steinmeier, who emphasized Germany’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
Besides the Israel-Gaza conflict, the talks between Erdogan and Scholz also addressed other topics. Sweden’s potential accession to the NATO military alliance was a topic of discussion, as well as migration, with Turkey being seen as a crucial ally in managing arrivals at the EU’s borders.
As Turkey prepares for municipal elections next year, Erdogan’s ruling party aims to regain control of Ankara and Istanbul.
What is the purpose of President Erdogan’s visit to Berlin?
President Erdogan visited Berlin to discuss the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. It was his first visit to Germany since 2020.
What are the differences between Chancellor Scholz and President Erdogan on the Israel issue?
Chancellor Scholz emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense and stated that it should not be questioned. President Erdogan, on the other hand, heavily criticized Israel’s offensive in Gaza and accused them of war crimes.
What other topics were discussed in the meeting?
Besides the Israel-Gaza conflict, the discussions also touched upon Sweden’s potential accession to NATO and migration issues. Turkey is considered an important ally by the EU in managing arrivals at its borders.
What is President Erdogan’s aim regarding Hamas?
President Erdogan referred to Hamas militants as “liberators,” a stance that differs from how Israel and several other countries categorize Hamas as a terrorist organization.
(Original source: Reuters, dpa)